Can This Be Oregano?
Chocolate Lady: What about a lentil salad?
Farmstand lady: (skeptical shrug) If you can take it. . .Well, last year I might have left the Cuban oregano to a braver soul, but because of Kalyn’s continually inspiring Weekend Herb Blogging, I was determined to construct a salad worthy of this herb, and I am so grateful that I did. I am hugging my monitor now, Kalyn!
Black Lentil Salad with Cuban Oregano
1 ½ cups black beluga lentils, or other lentils
1 small branch, plus two leaves Cuban oregano, or a few branches Mediterranean oregano, previously known as regular oregano, or some dried oregano.
2 chile pods
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 or 2 bell peppers (I had one; two would have been nice)
3 medium to largish carrots (I had one each: yellow, orange, and purple)
Several sprigs fresh parsley, minced (I didn’t have any parsley, but it would have been perfect)
Salt, pepper and additional oil and vinegar to taste
Wash the lentils and cook them in a generous amount of salted water with the oregano branch and chile pods until tender but firm. For the batch I had, this took about 35 minutes.
Drain the lentils and discard the aromatics. While they are still warm, dress them with the oil and vinegar.
Here’s where I need to beg your indulgence. These are tiny little lentils, and in order that the finished salad have some coherent soundness, you are going to cut the vegetables into a tiny, tiny brunoise dice. That means 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch for the carrots, 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch by the thickness of the pepper’s flesh for the pepper, and 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch by the thickness of the leaves or walls or whatever you call the layers of the shallots. This sounds like lots of work, and it is, but it will be soothing, and the results will be delicious, and you love the people who are going to eat these lentils.
Add the diced vegetables and the minced parsley and the one or two remaining minced oregano leaves. Toss and taste for seasonings. You can serve the lentils cool or at room temperature, and they will be even more glorious if they have few hours to sit around and get acquainted.This recipe made an enormous salad, something like eight cups. You may want to prepare 2/3 or 1/3 of this amount.
Food and Drink, Recipes, Cooking, Food, Vegetarian, vegan, vegetables, Weekend Herb Blogging, whb, antioxidant-rich foods, Cuban oregano, Caribbean oregano, oregano, lentils, black beluga lentils, lentil salad